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What Is A Protein Diet?

A protein diet is a diet in which you mainly eat protein-rich food while significantly reducing the consumption of fats and carbohydrates.

Proteins are essential building blocks of the human body; they play a central role in building and maintaining our muscles, tendons, organs, and skin.

However, proteins are also indispensable for enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, and many small molecules that fulfill essential functions.

These are referred to as non-essential amino acids, as opposed to the essential amino acids we must get from food.

Animal protein generally provides us with all the essential amino acids in the right proportions to fully utilize them. Therefore, animal products such as meat, fish, eggs, or dairy play a crucial role in this diet.

When you’re a vegetarian and don’t eat animal-based foods, getting enough protein and all the essential amino acids your body needs becomes more challenging. Fortunately, there are also good vegetarian sources that also contain high levels of protein.

Why Should You Go On A Protein Diet?

Nowadays, you are overwhelmed with diets. But what makes the protein diet so unique compared to the rest? A very valid question.

Protein is essential when it comes to losing weight and body fat.

Firstly, eating more protein leads to a temporary increase in metabolism, thereby burning more calories, and consuming more significant amounts of protein has a beneficial effect on reducing cravings, avoiding overeating, and thus not taking in too many calories.

It’s most significant contribution to weight loss is that eating protein-rich meals automatically leads to a spontaneous reduction in calorie intake.

Protein has a powerful effect on the feeling of hunger and satiety, more so than carbohydrates and fats.

Insulin production and satiety when ingesting the three macronutrients

Carbohydrates:

  • high insulin production
  • little feeling of satiety

Fat:

  • low insulin production
  • medium satiety

Protein:

  • mean insulin production
  • the high feeling of satiety

In a study of overweight men, nutritionists discovered that a 25% protein diet had tremendous beneficial effects. Participants felt full more quickly, had less need to snack in the evening, and had fewer obsessive thoughts about food.

Another study looked at the effects of increased protein intake in women. They were put on a 30% protein diet. As a result, they consumed an average of 441 fewer calories per day than before. The women also lost 11 pounds in 12 weeks by adding more protein to their diet.

In short, eating more protein makes it a little bit easier for yourself to stick to a diet aimed at sustained weight loss.

In the western world, people eat only 15% protein on average. That could be a little more. We cover most of our energy needs with (simple) carbohydrates.

Contrasting the distribution of macronutrients in the hunter-gatherer culture with the modern western world.

Hunters and collectors

  • Carbohydrates: 22-40%
  • Fat: 28-47%
  • Protein: 19-35%

Western world

  • Carbohydrates: 55%
  • Fat: 30%
  • protein: 15%

Why Do You Lose Weight On A Protein Diet?

Many ‘nutrition experts’ today still reject a protein diet. But hopefully, they’ll change their minds because a recent research on protein diets paints a clear picture.

If losing weight is your goal, you should eat a high-protein diet based on lean protein sources such as cottage cheese and chicken.

A protein diet is a way to lose weight because a daily high protein intake has many benefits regarding weight loss and burning body fat.

This has a satiating effect, which means you spontaneously eat less and thus take in fewer calories. It also helps temporarily increase metabolism. It also stimulates the production of the hormone peptide YY (PYY), which curbs appetite, and at the same time, suppresses the release of the hunger hormone ghrelin.

Also, don’t stop the high-protein diet after you think you’ve lost enough weight. Dutch scientists have found that a protein diet can also be beneficial for maintaining the target weight after losing weight.

ALSO READ: 5 BENEFITS OF RAW FOOD YOU DIDN’T KNOW EXISTED

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